Samsung just cannot catch a break these days – criticized for their plastic design (you know they are the ONLY manufacturer that uses plastic), sued by Apple for patent infringements, sued by Nvidia, sales of their beloved Galaxy S5 down close to half of what they expected, plummeting profits, executive shake-ups, and now, just when they thought that they “Got Milk,” the only thing they ‘got’ was sued. Milk Studios, a photography and media company just filed a lawsuit in the U.S. against Samsung Electronics Co., alleging trademark infringement over their streaming music and video services.
Milk Studios claim that Samsung “intentionally, willfully and knowingly” used Milk’s trademark. They claim that they had contacted Samsung in March and requested that they stop using the Milk name. We are only hearing bits and pieces of the story, so until they get to court, we will not know the truth of the matter. Samsung has had a business relationship with Milk Studios on many occasions during recent years. According to Milk Studios, Samsung had told them that they needed time to consider their request to stop, but in August, decided to use it anyway for their Milk Music and Milk Video streaming services.
Samsung has not commented on the action, but I am sure we will hear more about it in the near future. I find it hard to believe that the word ‘Milk,’ itself could be a trademark infringement. You have the Milk Marketing Federation, Nestl©s Muscle Milk, and there is even a micro brewed Milk Stout Nitro – how is Samsung’s use of the word ‘Milk’ any different? The time that Samsung took to make its decision to use the name, was most likely investigated by their legal department, who determined that Milk Studios did not have an ‘udder’ chance to win the case.
Samsung was already questioned by the public and critics at large as to why they would use the word ‘Milk’ for their new services and they said because it is “fresh and organic.” This type of relationship is important in their culture and kind of makes sense in a ‘spiritual zen’ kind of way, but marketing wise does not make a lot of sense…but then Pandora music is thriving.
Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know if you think the use of the word ‘milk’ is okay by Samsung or will it be a legal loss…as always, we would love to hear from you.